World Pesto Championships

We are so excited about this weekend as local lady Clare Rainey heads to Genoa to compete in the World Pesto Championships!

There’s a world of difference between mass-produced and artisan in so many foods, but there’s a whole galaxy when it comes to pesto. Clare Rainey the Kooky Cook from Portrush loves the stuff, but she detests the synthetic sludge you get from the big boys. She’s worked in the food industry all her life, both front of house and as a chef.

She makes her bold, bright sauces with Broighter Gold rapeseed oil from just down the road. It is the British Isles’ clever answer to olive oil. When it’s paired with home-grown garlic and Ballyrashane cheese, you realise that you can live without Parmesan very happily.

There’s the standard sweet green basil recipe the Genoese brought to the world; rocket and lemon; sundried tomato; green chilli and coriander and mint, feta and black olive. That’s a virtual tour of the Med without ever leaving the North Coast! What’s more they’re superhealthy. Her target market? She says they’re for “foodies of all ages- young parents, students, locavores, people who want to buy fresh produce, vegetarians and other decent human beings.” Next on the list are hummus, tapenade and tzatziki

Clare recently won the Northern Ireland heat of the World Pesto Championships at the Giants Causeway, and will grind for victory this weekend to win the title. We wish Claire all the very best!